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Loyalty and Trust

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Essay title: Loyalty and Trust

Loyalty and Trust

Trust has always been the backbone of all human interactions guiding daily life. Without trust, a society would lose all functionality, falling victim to fear and eventually chaos. This theme of loyalty and trust is clearly illustrated in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In the play, Mark Antony is a righteous supporter of Caesar who stands by him at all costs; Cassius is a conspirator who plans the murder of Caesar; and Brutus is a noble yet contradictory Roman who betrays Caesar for the good of his country, Rome. Through the actions of these characters, William Shakespeare uses his play to embody the values of trustworthiness and decency as important Roman ideals.

First of all, Mark Antony is a loyal Roman who will stand by Caesar and believes him to be a good leader for Rome. Shakespeare displays this through how Antony apologizes for even pretending to side with the conspirators after Caesar’s death; Antony exclaims, “O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers” (III, I, 280). Antony’s loyalty is also clear through his speech at Caesar’s funeral and when he proves the conspirators wrong after Caesar’s death. He states concerning Caesar, “he was my friend, faithful and just to me, but Brutus says he was ambitious, when the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; yet Brutus says he was ambitious. I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition” (III, ii, 94)? The passage is not only a lucid example of Antony’s fair nature for allowing the people of Rome decide the conspirators’ true virtue, but also his undivided loyalty towards Caesar in seeking to reveal the truth to the public.

On the other hand, Cassius is perceptibly dishonorable and detestable according to this Roman value. Although he states that all he does is for the good of Rome, Cassius is mostly power hungry and jealous of Caesar. Cassius’s vile actions embrace stealing Brutus’s trust and motivating him to assist in killing Caesar. As Cassius states, “Come, Casca, you and I will ye ere day see Brutus at his house. Three parts of him is ours already, and the man entire upon the next encounter yields him ours” (I, iii, 158). Upon this Cassius tells Cinna to take three forged letters on behalf of the Plebeians and plant them at Brutus’s house to win his full trust. This action displays Cassius’s sly character and how he will try his best to manipulate other people for his own good. Aside from this, Cassius seems to believe that Caesar is unworthy of the Crown. Cassius again attempts to filch Brutus’s loyalty by telling him the story of when Cassius had saved Caesar long ago and how Caesar is an illegitimate leader; however, this is merely

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